blackleafforge

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Everything posted by blackleafforge

  1. Hi, I want to drill in and then set the steel bars in it so they can hold fire tools.
  2. I wanted to make some companion sets set in stone but don't have any experience with the stuff. After looking online I think I will go for limestone so I can carve a bit of detail on to it, but I am concerned about it cracking. Is limestone a good choice? if not does anyone have any experience or advice about the kind of stone to use? Thanks
  3. Im trying to upgrade by punches and chisels as I am spending more and more time re dressing and sharpening. I started out wit EN9 which is nice to forge and forgiving but deformed easily. I then tried 01 and its much harder but I have had a few exiting instances of it shattering. I was looking over some farrier tools and they had a lot of S1 tools, they claimed to be very impact resistant, hard with good edge retention. A quick google didn't return any useful info about hand forging it and using it as a blacksmith. Does anyone have any experience with it?Is it the right steel to be using? Or is it another example of a mislabelled steel that is confusing me! Thanks
  4. I did try offering to build something myself but they have to go through a planning process because of the buildings protected status before anything can be changed. Using charcoal is a good idea, I may pay the extra myself if they won't go for it if its significantly better.
  5. I know there are already a few posts about the dangers and solutions to a badly ventilated forge, I was wondering however if anyone has info about or access to any scientific study carried out in a forge or similar. I ask because I work in a 17th century forge owned by a charitable group that keeps it open to the public - the main draw is the water powered trip hammer, im just a sideshow. The problem is that it all collapsed a century ago and was then re built, they however ran out of money so the roof is just solid asbestos sheeting, There are 2 open forges both burning coke ( there are plans to switch to cola soon), one has a very badly designed hood that is not original and does very little to draw any fumes and smoke away. The other one ( the one I use ) has no extraction and vents straight in to the room. I have been working there for two years now and in that time have had un explained headaches and come home covered in dust and coughing. I know this is a problem but I don’t have alternative premises. I have mentioned the issue to the managers but as always with charitable organisations money is very tight and they seem very un motivated to do anything in the short term. They have made the concession of installing a carbon monoxide sensor in the room that has not been triggered but I think the many holes and doors in the structure would stop any massive gaseous build up. My concern is more the particulate matter thrown up, like ash and dust and my exposure to the hot gasses and rubbish coming straight off the fire in to my face as I lean over it. I have organised a meeting with the area manager and was hoping to back up my argument for investment in some type of extraction by talking about the potential impact on elderly and young visitors and staff that spend a long time in the forge, like me. I know you guys are very knowledgable and I wondered if you are basing it of any studies? I wanted to be able to make an non emotional presentation with black and white proof that it its dangerous and very poor practice, helping to bump up extraction installation to the top of the to do list. Thanks for taking the time to read all that. Andy p.s the first pic shows my fire in the bottom corner and a view of the old machinery, the second is a closer view of my fire when starting it in the morning.
  6. I let it temper to a light straw, It did stand up to a few uses before breaking so I have lost the tempering colours on the end.
  7. Hi, Im having more problems with my chisels after moving from EN9 to 01 tool steel. Initially i got fractures at the business end that I was subsequently told due to the enlarged grain structure it was probably caused by me over heating during forging. So I forged a new set of punches and kept them at a lower heat and that seemed to solve the problem, but I now get large bits flaking off on the striking end. No enlarged grain structure and I had brought it up to critical, oil quenched the tip, let the temper run then re quenched the tip again and let the punch cool naturally under the forge ash. Have I missed something? I really like the toughness of 01 vs EN9 that I had to re forge every week but it seems much more temperamental, Is this the best steel to be using or am I just using it wrong? Thanks!
  8. I assumed the crack was formed at the same time as the break as i didn't notice it before. Thinking back I did get the top half hotter than I liked (white heat), i was taught to forge EN9 at a red heat, is this true of 01? Can I save the bottom of the punch by annealing and re forging? Does annexing require a long cool down or is it sufficient to bring the pice up to non magnetic and quench straight away? Thanks.
  9. Can anyone diagnose what the problem here is? I use EN9 for punches but I found the smaller ones bend after a few uses. So I have tried 01 steel, I forged, brought up to non magnetic, quenched half in linseed oil, allowed temper colours to reach end, re quenched half and left to cool under the forge ash. The first time i tapped it it snapped. What did i do wrong? thanks!
  10. I hadn't considered dust / grit build up being a problem, I had thought that using a cutting fluid might help but it seemed overkill for a hand held drill. I do put a bit too much pressure on sometimes, especially with a blunt drill I sometimes force it through with all my weight out of frustration! I also didn't consider cleaning the metal, I assume thats to stop grit and crap getting pushed in to the hole? Same with the speed, I usually just crank it all up to 11, I hadn't considered that may be another contributory factor. Are there any other machinist brands you would recommend? as a lot of the ones discussed seem to mainly be available in the US. Also are you sharpening your bits by hand or using a jig or other automatic contraption? Thanks
  11. I have been using a cheap set of drill bits that came with my drill for a while now and they are almost all broken or blunt. A fresh one only seems to last for about a minute of drilling through mild steel, is it worth investing in a very expensive set? I was looking at at 29 pice cobalt irwin set but it costs over £100. How much difference will I see? Does anyone else invest in expensive sets or is cheap and cheerful the way to go? Thanks
  12. I have notice and heard smith make reference to the fact that working stock hard keeps the heat in. I find this mostly applicable when drawing down very small stock but I was wondering about what was going on. I assume that the impact of the hammer will generate a small about of heat through friction but I don't think that accounts for it. I thought it may have something to do with compression? I also noticed this video that i assume is working off the same principle. does anyone smarter than me know what exactly is going on?
  13. what is the lump in the middle for? I will try playing around with a looser grip and see what i can achieve, hopefully without throwing my hammer at anyone! thanks
  14. I have met a few older blacksmiths who have problems with their arms and in some cases can't fully open the hand. I have been forging full time for almost a year and have already noticed some aches and pains creeping in along with a bit of numbness on the tips of my fingers. I have seen a few hammers being sold with anti vibration handles, e.g.: http://www.buyhorseshoes.co.uk/double-s-shoe-turning-hammer-18lbs-2lbs-or-22lbs-10165-p.asp are they any good? Has anyone used them? thanks
  15. very impressive. reviewing the design and looking at yours i suspect i may not have thinned the flexing section enough...
  16. Im sorry to say that the first picture is just an example i found and not one i made. I don't have it anymore but the client told me that they were developing in the flattened bending section. Its made with new mild steel bar, flattened to a fairly uniform thickness on the bend (about 3 mil). I tried to get a blue tempering colour on the flexing section as I was told that equated to a flexible state. I don't think i burnt it.
  17. Hi, I recently made some tongs for picking up hot logs / bits of wood. The client described the design an I made it out of mild steel. It was all one pice with the flexible spine made by thinning out the material at the bend. It worked after a fassion but I didn't get a lot of movement and apparently cracks have now started to appear. I looked at similar designs online like the ones below and noticed that some had inserts riveted on to the bend. Am I heat treating the steel wrong, or is it to thick or will mild steel never have the correct flex and memory to be suitable for this type of application? thanks
  18. Hi, I bought a set of punches with letters on them for writing customers names on items I'm making. I am however having real problems keeping them all straight and my efforts often look very amateurish and spoil the work. Am I missing something? Is there a method or tool that would do a better job? Also what temperature would you punch at? I didn't want to ruin the crisp edges of the letters so I have been doing it at just under a dull orange, is that correct? thanks
  19. I recently priced up a job for hot zinc spraying and was surprised by how much it cost. For small jobs is a can a good alternative? I have never used them before but can they really compete with the larger industrial processes? thanks
  20. Someone close to me is selling this vice, I was going to go with a modern engineers vice but I have just restored an old leg vice and really enjoyed the process of bringing it back and love the look of it in my shop so I want to invest in another bit of usable history. The seller describes this as a solid steel victorian vice and is asking £70. Can anyone confirm its history and value? Thanks Andy forgot the pic
  21. I am working on a sculpture at the moment and followed the advice of a few smiths to get it hot zinc sprayed then etched then painted for the best exterior finish. I naively was a little surprised at the cost (£300 for a tree sitting on a base, aprox 1 meters square). My client has asked for alternatives so I started looking in to it and a traditional proven finish of linseed paint sprung to mind. I am however slightly suspicious of the fact that it does not seem to be widely used by the modern blacksmith community. I rang up one of the few uk suppliers to ask about longevity and application and her claims seemed to be a little to good to be true. She said the the finish would last indefinitely and would just dull very slightly after 10 - 15 years. She also said it had a good degree of flex so would not crack or flake off with thermal expansion and contraction of the metal. Has anyone else used this system? what are your thoughts? Thanks Andy
  22. I have had it all connected now but am having problems with the VFD settings. I tried to copy the settings on nonjic's video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_l0Qh5seBlI but all i get is a horrible high pitched whine, what am i doing wrong? ph vid.m4v
  23. Wow, thanks for all the responses. With regards to the neighbours, I am within an ex military wharf that is now a business park and is rated for light industrial use. (http://www.yachthavens.com/group/commercial-properties/turnchapel-wharf/)The other companies operating on site do use things like grinders and welders although they are located further away from the public and they use noisy equipment intermittently rather than continuously like I will. They have had some complaints but only relating to working late at night something that I will avoid. The hammer is already on a steel base, resting on a wooden board and with rubber feet, I don't know how I could make it any quieter. I was put in this location by the wharf manager, I did raise the issue at the time and he seemed unconcerned. It would be possible for me to move but it would be a massive pain and take at least a week and some heavy machinery. I have no idea about the law concerning smoke drifting on to someone house, I will look in to it. I am using coal, what solid fuel will be best? I had considered insulation and then rejected it because most of the products I looked at were flammable to some extent, will fibreglass withstand direct contact with burning bits of metal and coal? I do intend to further populate the shop with equipment but will have to start earning to afford them, my wish list in order is currently: Oxy Acetylene bottles and accessories, Welding bench, Band saw, Pillar drill, mig welder, gas forge, grinder, etc etc.... I spent most of the budget on the hammer because a nice one came along and I had seen the effect it can have on productivity. And its cool! My hand tools do most other jobs satisfactory. I have insurance with eastlake and Beachell, and wow are they expensive, £350 per year I think. I will try to re negotiate when I renew. I am a sole trader with no employees. I have thought about producing stuff for all the boat builders in the wharf but most of them want stainless steel and I'm worried about inconsistencies. For example if i make chain I can guarantee breaking weight and some of this stuff may cost someones life if it fails. My intended product is initially small decretive items that I will stock in galleries and sell at fairs, this means the lack of equipment will not be a problem to start as I have designed them around traditional techniques. I have already had some work accepted in to a gallery I now just need to get quicker at producing it! Below is a pic showing my location. Thanks for all the help, really got me thinking!